Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 3rd day January 5, 2014

Well-prepared England well beaten

Andy Flower has been the best coach England have had but the environment he created has led to 5-0
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#PoliteEnquiries: Should Cook continue as captain?

Did clay grow tall for this? Was English cricket restructured, repackaged and refinanced for this? Was the result of the Schofield report following England's 5-0 thrashing in 2006-07 simply a smokescreen or diversionary tactic? Did the England team win a significant pay rise only weeks before this tour started for this?

There have been many bleak moments in the history of English cricket. There have been thrashings at the hands of the West Indies, defeats against Holland, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh and two previous Ashes whitewashes.

But this may be a new nadir. For a team who, not so long ago, talked of leaving a legacy in world cricket to be bowled out within 32 overs to seal a 5-0 defeat may just represent the bleakest moment of the lot. An England team that arrived in Australia with realistic hopes of clinching their fourth successive Ashes success will leave broken and humiliated. An England team that included Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior, Graeme Swann and Joe Root at the start of the series, finished without any of them. Not since 1984 has an England side lost five successive Tests by margins in excess of 100 runs or eight wickets.

There is some mitigation. Most pertinently, Australia's seam attack performed magnificently. Mitchell Johnson, Ryan Harris and Peter Siddle performed at a level that bears comparisons with some of the best bowling trios in history. Not only did they hardly deliver a poor spell between them, they went for long periods without delivering a poor ball. The pressure they built up on the England order would have cracked many teams.

England might have cause to reflect on their schedule, too. Several players arrived on this tour looking noticeably jaded and below their best. No batsman in world cricket has faced as many deliveries as Alastair Cook since the start of the 2010-11 Ashes; no bowling unit had bowled as much as James Anderson, Swann and Stuart Broad. England were exhausted before they began.

There are a couple of areas of encouragement, too. Broad bowled with pace, skill and stamina throughout - not least in Melbourne where he shrugged off a badly bruised foot - while Ben Stokes might be the allrounder England have been crying out for to balance their side.

But in general, this England regime has been extended every advantage. They have central contracts, academies, development tours, an army of support staff that might as well include a topiarist, vast investment and a control over the schedule, both home and away, of which previous management could only dream. If there have been issues with preparation or selection on this tour, it is because the England management made them. There can be no excuses.

There have certainly been mistakes. It was a mistake to bring three tall fast bowlers on tour - all of them endured a miserable trip - it was a mistake to drop Nick Compton before the previous Ashes series - England have not scored 400 since Compton last made a century for them - and it was a mistake to omit Graham Onions.

The selectors may well reflect on the inclusion of Jonny Bairstow as reserve wicketkeeper and the call-up of Scott Borthwick as replacement spin bowler, too. They could not have predicted the breakdown of Trott or the retirement of Swann but they should have been able to foresee Chris Tremlett's lack of pace, Steven Finn's struggles with rhythm and the lack of cover at the top of the order.

There were some obvious contrasts between the sides throughout the series. While Michael Clarke celebrated the "comfortable environment" in which his team operated, while their coach encouraged the team to enjoy their work, to relax and revel in the atmosphere of an Ashes series - the series that every member of their side should have dreamed of playing in since the moment they discovered the joys of this great game - the England team moped around as if they had been asked to defuse bombs while discovering a new energy source and a lasting peace in the Middle East.

It may be worth reflecting on how quickly things can change. Not so long ago, Australia were whitewashed in a series by India. They have recovered with largely the same group of players - the return to form of Johnson is clearly crucial - but with a change of coach. Simply by changing the coach, they changed the environment in which the team operated and, in time, the results followed. Gone were the homework assignments from Mickey Arthur and in came 'joke of the day' from Darren Lehmann. It sounds small, but it represents much.

There is an obvious lesson here for England. The current team have experienced too much work and not enough play. They have experienced too much stick and not enough carrot. They have experienced too much of one thing for too long. The batting coach has failed to coax runs from the side, the bowling coach has failed to develop some talented young bowlers and the fielding coach has failed to prevent some awful errors. None can reflect on a successful tour.

It is anticipated that Andy Flower will request the full backing of the ECB before taking any decisions over his future. It is anticipated he will request full control of the team, the support staff and a final say in selection. It is anticipated that he will ask for full power so that he can take full responsibility. It is probably the only way things can be.

But that is not so different to how things are now. Short of offering Flower an invisibility cloak and a license to kill, he has been extended every advantage the ECB can offer already. And it has culminated in a 5-0 defeat.

Flower has been, without much doubt, the best cricket coach England have had. But unless he can reinvent himself and find another method, it is hard to see how he can continue.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Chaffers on January 8, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    Not sure why everyone has a downer on Borthwick, he recovered rather well after a nervy start. Compare his 82/4 to Warne's figures in his first test...

  • ScottStevo on January 8, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    @StaalBurgher, I disagree, a fair reflection of that series is 5-0. Eng were completely dire and Aus steamrolled them. I agree the result isn't much indication of the relative strengths of the sides though and they're a lot closer than many Eng fans would like to admit prior to this series and Aus fans would now - much in the same way as their 3-0 home win didn't either. In this series, Aus hit Eng early doors with pace and venom and Eng were caught completely off guard. Eng couldn't up their game under the pressure, which only created more pressure - which again, they couldn't deal with.

  • dutchy on January 8, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    There was more to Australia rebounding than a new coach who let people tell jokes. They also picked an opening batsman with a decent first class average Rogers) over a trier (Cowan), they removed Shane Watson from a leadership position, they stopped dicking around with the batting order, they showed faith in Nathan Lyon instead of continually dropping him and they stopped picking bits and pieces all rounders like Maxwell and Henriques. England's one solace of this tour is meant to be selecting Ben Stokes the all rounder "England have been crying out for to balance their side" (they didn't have one when they were number one but anyway...) but he's a bits and pieces all rounder too. Picking him at six unbalances the side and England will keep losing.

  • StaalBurgher on January 7, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    I am really surprised England imploded. A fair result would've been an Ozzie win of 2-0 or 3-1 or something, but 5-0 is not a fair reflection of the relative team strengths.

    I am not surprised that England are weaker than they thought. They were barely no.1 for a short time and even then they were not head and shoulders stronger than anyone else yet their media carried on like they would rule for the next 5-10 years. Swann was one reason why they were strong and their batting, half of which was imported. Two areas of play that they are not traditionally strong in. Swann has been flagging for a while now due to his elbow, an objective person would've seen this coming. As for the batting... stop importing batsmen! That is why your next tier of batsmen are so far off the pace. It temporarily hid a decent but not exceptional area of your team. You are not developing enough talented youngsters, not the leftovers from soccer and rugby.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Rigidity and lack of common sense led to England's downfall. It made no sense to promote Root to 3 and leaving Bell at 5. It made no sense to take Finn, rankin and Tremlett in the same 16-17. It made no sense to play Borthwick to bowl some lollypops.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on January 7, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Great article. I saw England in a warm-up game against a chairman's XI in Sydney & they did look jaded and played like it. Boycott wrote a good article about letting the players think for themselves. Cook captained poorly because he looked like he had no Plan B when the wheels came off. Far too micro-managed, Flower must go, he wants more power when in fact he needs to step back. You can't manage mistakes out of the team by preparation & planning alone. People need to be allowed to take risks. One of the greatest innings we've ever seen was from Botham in Headingly in 1981. He turned a test around by just going for it. This England side are nowhere near this bad. They looked like Aus in April in India, tired, dispirited & joyless. Compton, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Finn, Anderson & a spinner, on paper its a good side & will be in 2015. Both Ashes series too close together, never again ICC.

  • on January 7, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    England requires to replace the head coach, the batting coach, the bowling coaches, both in regard to pace and spin bowling and the captain who does not have a feel for captaincy and thinks firs to curtail runs, rather than take wickets, which in counterproductive to the England team. In conclusion, it is time to make the needed changes and start a new era in relation to English cricket.

  • fguy on January 6, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    sad thing for the english fans is that they dont even have other formats to soothe their pain. for them the "only" cricket is test cricket. if they fail in that, as they have here, there is no balm.

  • on January 6, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    There were a number of reasons for England's abysmal performance. The first and most important was obviously the Aussie preparation and the great performance by the Aussie bowlers. This was further compounded by the England's overconfidence. They obviously never expected the Aussies to turnaround in the way they did. Broad was the only player to have some kind of motivation, for obvious reasons. That could have been a springboard for a great effort by England. I feel that Cook and Flower should both be asked to take a break - a forced one, if necessary. Cook needs to take a holiday and clear up his thinking. Flower, on the other hand, seems to be in denial. If coaches have a shelf life then I feel Flower's time may be up, in spite of the remarkable success he has enjoyed. This England side will come back with time. In any case world cricket needs that, given its limited options. Australia's bowling may be good, but their batting will be shown up by SA. The false dawn will break...

  • CricketMaan on January 6, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    So changing Flower will solve all problems...nah..typical journo thinking. With Aus it was a different case. Arthur anyway wasn't doing a good job so a change was imminent, the homework episode hastened it. Flower has achieved a lot, especailly that recent win in India will haunt Indian fans for decades, so will the Ashes wins in the past. Yes England were pathetic, the selections were absurd at times, but to ask Flower to go and keep the likes of Gooch, Saker etc. will be foolish. Carberry is not your long term opener, so is not Root. Bell might be long term No.3 but how will be No.5 then? Stokes is seriously a good find but Swann has left a huge hole and neither of Monty or Tredwell is a long term solution.

  • Chaffers on January 8, 2014, 18:33 GMT

    Not sure why everyone has a downer on Borthwick, he recovered rather well after a nervy start. Compare his 82/4 to Warne's figures in his first test...

  • ScottStevo on January 8, 2014, 17:48 GMT

    @StaalBurgher, I disagree, a fair reflection of that series is 5-0. Eng were completely dire and Aus steamrolled them. I agree the result isn't much indication of the relative strengths of the sides though and they're a lot closer than many Eng fans would like to admit prior to this series and Aus fans would now - much in the same way as their 3-0 home win didn't either. In this series, Aus hit Eng early doors with pace and venom and Eng were caught completely off guard. Eng couldn't up their game under the pressure, which only created more pressure - which again, they couldn't deal with.

  • dutchy on January 8, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    There was more to Australia rebounding than a new coach who let people tell jokes. They also picked an opening batsman with a decent first class average Rogers) over a trier (Cowan), they removed Shane Watson from a leadership position, they stopped dicking around with the batting order, they showed faith in Nathan Lyon instead of continually dropping him and they stopped picking bits and pieces all rounders like Maxwell and Henriques. England's one solace of this tour is meant to be selecting Ben Stokes the all rounder "England have been crying out for to balance their side" (they didn't have one when they were number one but anyway...) but he's a bits and pieces all rounder too. Picking him at six unbalances the side and England will keep losing.

  • StaalBurgher on January 7, 2014, 15:24 GMT

    I am really surprised England imploded. A fair result would've been an Ozzie win of 2-0 or 3-1 or something, but 5-0 is not a fair reflection of the relative team strengths.

    I am not surprised that England are weaker than they thought. They were barely no.1 for a short time and even then they were not head and shoulders stronger than anyone else yet their media carried on like they would rule for the next 5-10 years. Swann was one reason why they were strong and their batting, half of which was imported. Two areas of play that they are not traditionally strong in. Swann has been flagging for a while now due to his elbow, an objective person would've seen this coming. As for the batting... stop importing batsmen! That is why your next tier of batsmen are so far off the pace. It temporarily hid a decent but not exceptional area of your team. You are not developing enough talented youngsters, not the leftovers from soccer and rugby.

  • on January 7, 2014, 12:23 GMT

    Rigidity and lack of common sense led to England's downfall. It made no sense to promote Root to 3 and leaving Bell at 5. It made no sense to take Finn, rankin and Tremlett in the same 16-17. It made no sense to play Borthwick to bowl some lollypops.

  • Maroubra_Flyer on January 7, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    Great article. I saw England in a warm-up game against a chairman's XI in Sydney & they did look jaded and played like it. Boycott wrote a good article about letting the players think for themselves. Cook captained poorly because he looked like he had no Plan B when the wheels came off. Far too micro-managed, Flower must go, he wants more power when in fact he needs to step back. You can't manage mistakes out of the team by preparation & planning alone. People need to be allowed to take risks. One of the greatest innings we've ever seen was from Botham in Headingly in 1981. He turned a test around by just going for it. This England side are nowhere near this bad. They looked like Aus in April in India, tired, dispirited & joyless. Compton, Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Prior, Broad, Finn, Anderson & a spinner, on paper its a good side & will be in 2015. Both Ashes series too close together, never again ICC.

  • on January 7, 2014, 5:08 GMT

    England requires to replace the head coach, the batting coach, the bowling coaches, both in regard to pace and spin bowling and the captain who does not have a feel for captaincy and thinks firs to curtail runs, rather than take wickets, which in counterproductive to the England team. In conclusion, it is time to make the needed changes and start a new era in relation to English cricket.

  • fguy on January 6, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    sad thing for the english fans is that they dont even have other formats to soothe their pain. for them the "only" cricket is test cricket. if they fail in that, as they have here, there is no balm.

  • on January 6, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    There were a number of reasons for England's abysmal performance. The first and most important was obviously the Aussie preparation and the great performance by the Aussie bowlers. This was further compounded by the England's overconfidence. They obviously never expected the Aussies to turnaround in the way they did. Broad was the only player to have some kind of motivation, for obvious reasons. That could have been a springboard for a great effort by England. I feel that Cook and Flower should both be asked to take a break - a forced one, if necessary. Cook needs to take a holiday and clear up his thinking. Flower, on the other hand, seems to be in denial. If coaches have a shelf life then I feel Flower's time may be up, in spite of the remarkable success he has enjoyed. This England side will come back with time. In any case world cricket needs that, given its limited options. Australia's bowling may be good, but their batting will be shown up by SA. The false dawn will break...

  • CricketMaan on January 6, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    So changing Flower will solve all problems...nah..typical journo thinking. With Aus it was a different case. Arthur anyway wasn't doing a good job so a change was imminent, the homework episode hastened it. Flower has achieved a lot, especailly that recent win in India will haunt Indian fans for decades, so will the Ashes wins in the past. Yes England were pathetic, the selections were absurd at times, but to ask Flower to go and keep the likes of Gooch, Saker etc. will be foolish. Carberry is not your long term opener, so is not Root. Bell might be long term No.3 but how will be No.5 then? Stokes is seriously a good find but Swann has left a huge hole and neither of Monty or Tredwell is a long term solution.

  • cric-procrastinator on January 6, 2014, 16:12 GMT

    The trend seems to be every team is playing well at home. When India lose in Australia, SA, England there is lot of talk about not being able to handle pace and bounce but this series showed that neiter England can handle pace and bounce. The same England and Australia teams if they played this series in Engalnd instead of Asutralia the results would be different.

  • YorkshirePudding on January 6, 2014, 15:44 GMT

    @dunger.bob on (January 6, 2014, 11:36 GMT), very good assesment, I would add that it also came on the back of an england downward spiral, much like the 2010/11 Ashes did for Aus.

    aus have thier concerns with Haddin, Rodgers and Harris coming to the close of thier careers, however there are a few spots on the radar (Voge, Pattinson) that should be good replacements, not so sure about a replacement for Rodgers.

    I've mentioned on a few threads, that over history the teams are fairly well balanced with both teams tending towards home Ashes wins rather than away wins with aus on 18H and 14A to Englands 17 H to 14A, and 5 drawn series from a total of 38 Series.

    It should also be remembered that since 2009 england have only lost 4 series to Australias 7.

  • Nickoshot on January 6, 2014, 14:37 GMT

    Flower has led England to heights I couldn't have imagined after Peter Moores /KP debacle but he has said himself that England are moving into a different phase of the side. England have fundamental questions to ask about their brand of cricket. Whatever you say about Finn he takes wickets often tailenders wickets which England have struggled to do.

    I know the reasons but the schedule as not helped England ten back to back games against the Aus attack. They must have been licking their lips when players like Bairstow were reselected. players whos technique they had found wanting in the summer.

    With the next test match in July the A tour to Sri Lanka is even more important

  • dunger.bob on January 6, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    @ Chris_P on (January 6, 2014, 5:50 GMT) : Yep, that's exactly what Cook meant with the 'I've seen 5-0 before" quip.

    I'm feeling expansive so I'd like to say something about that. I've always felt that the '07 sweep was like a super-nova. The last, dying act of a star. It's explodes in one final, glorious outpouring of energy that lights the sky then slowly fades away, never to be seen again. It's dead, but it's light shines for a long, long time in the space it once dominated.

    Melodramatic to the max and cheesy as hell I know, but I've always felt that way and just wanted to say it.

  • dunger.bob on January 6, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    @ jmcilhinney on (January 6, 2014, 4:19 GMT): England played poorly, there's no doubt about that. You point to a number of factors which may have contributed to that but you missed the great big grand-daddy one filling the room. Australia.

    We simply didn't let you play well. Not one of your batsmen was comfortable at any point. Stokes was good in Adelaide but he hasn't been around long enough to reverse engineered by the computer boys yet. Give him 10 tests and a picture will start to emerge and we'll see how he goes once his test match honeymoon is over. .. Not knocking the lad, he's good, but he WILL get worked out sooner rather than later. .. Other than him there was nothing. Diddly squat. .. I've seen heaps of posts saying England is better than that and I agree to a fair extent. .. The point is they came up against the perfect storm. The right players at the right time in the right place against the right opposition. .. No way out of that, no matter how good your record is.

  • Jeeves_ on January 6, 2014, 11:17 GMT

    How can anyone in this England set-up be retained after this debacle??? Flower has to go, along with Gooch, and the whole selection team for their bias and unprofessionalism. Once again, as I've said before, you always pick back-up players who can step in to the test team when required. Onions and Compton were top performing County players and the obvious back-up players. Cook is not cut out for captaincy.

  • Biggus on January 6, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    @zzby:- "Few months ago people where comparing him with Julius Caesar and now complaining against him". Have to say I missed the Julius Caesar comparisons, but I guess apart from not actually being a Roman senator and not being a tactical and strategic genius and not having conquered Gaul and also not having won a civil war against Pompeius Maximus he's exactly the same? Of course Caesar's fate was to be stabbed to death in the forum by his peers. If I were Cook I wouldn't be letting anything as threatening as a bread and butter knife into the changerooms :)

  • on January 6, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    GD. It was not a mistake to take the tall fast bowlers. It was a mistake not to play them. Granted Tremlett was so underdone i can`t believe the coaching staff could`t see that. Finn should have played every test. At least he and Broad could have given Australia a little "mongrel" back. Psychologically, that would have made a big difference. Onions would have fared no better that Anderson in Australian conditions. I think Stokes Broad and Finn would have fared better. Flower failed by not recognising the signs of burnout. This, given Trescothics issues in the past, should have been well covered by English management but clearly wasn`t. Pietersen must go. Leave him for 20/20 and one day cricket. He can`t play a real test innings of attrition and has a plant life I.Q. Someone needs to work with Bell to make sure he doesn`t lose his confidence. Bresnan was underdone and should`nt have been rushed back. Having said all that, England have the basis of a very good team.

  • zzby on January 6, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    England problem is there batting and what I think there is no problem with Cook as Captain. Few months ago people where comparing him with Julius Caesar and now complaining against him.

    Problem is with the no1,no3 and no6 place in batting , fix that and bring finn everything would be fine.

  • on January 6, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    @TheBigBoodha - You have a very selective memory! Last year SA won the first test that they played with 11 fit men in Australia! They lost JP Duminy on day one at the Gabba, and Kallis on day one at Adelaide. They survived both those tests to a point where the Ausie bowlers could not play in Perth because of fatigue. Graham Smith then took the initiative upon himself, attacking the the Aussie bowling to the tune of 6 an over for a whole session to bat Australia out of the game. That's how it actually went down if you check the book.

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on January 6, 2014, 8:41 GMT

    @ultimatecricket guru .. that is a reasonably big if, buddy. And be that as it may, the batting now has to earn its money, bragging rights and all other things. This series the top half has been on holiday, with one caretaker doing duty per Test. Let no one even dream that 5-100 on a regular basis against South Africa will be then managed by Haddin and friends.

  • ultimatecricketguru on January 6, 2014, 8:04 GMT

    Everyone should stop blaming england for their performance..The fact is johnson was just unplayable...He was the difference btwn then two teams..38 Wickets in a single series is just remarkable..England will play better against other sides...Excuse them for this series..With johson in this form i dont think even SA is gona survive..

  • on January 6, 2014, 7:48 GMT

    Well, poor England didn't play to their talent. Well may England brood at their timely demise; for its not talent that was lacking but leadership. Any side that slowed the game as they did with negative captaincy cannot expect to win where conditions provide for a fair game. It was the tactics that were the ultimate demise of England not the talent of the players. England need to look for a leader with a very positive attitude to cricket. Positive doesn't mean responding to every 4 hit with a field change. It involves a planned assault, offering a little to make a batsman think he is control while mastering his weakness. - My opinion, over feed (ridiculous menu especially considering the results), on field time wasting by the captain where there were near team meetings often between the delivery of balls not even the end of the over. It was evident by the arms waving that England had a team of captains. No wonder there was disaster.

  • midnightschildren on January 6, 2014, 7:40 GMT

    So it's clear that England batsmen cant play the short and real fast stuff either. No one can. Only when Indians and Sri Lankans cant play it it almost appears as a cultural or a psychological deficiency. I am sure we will hear such things in the next summer in England. Get up and smell the leather!

  • DaisonGarvasis on January 6, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    Cook says he has backing of ECB, Flower has been backed by ECB until 2015. What more good news the rest of the cricketing world need? England is not gonna do anything about the ashes humiliation. Any team can come and help themselves!!! Haaa

  • on January 6, 2014, 7:34 GMT

    time for a fresh start pick some young players. Root was stuffed around. One minute he is opening, other minute he is batting at 6 other minute he is at no 3. Give him a fixed position. Other players are in their 32-33 and well this was bound to happen - although in next couple of years I was expecting. Balance looks good in his short stay.

  • TheBigBoodha on January 6, 2014, 7:33 GMT

    One other factor which I haven't heard anyone mentioning in regard to the fact that England often had Australia several wickets down without too many runs on the board is this: even when they were, say, 4/100, aus were almost always scoring at 4 runs an over, and they almost NEVER stopped counter-attacking. This meant that as soon as someone started to get away, then Cook panicked and went on the defensive, and the runs quickly piled on. We saw the same thing vs SA last year, where the Saffa attack was massacred at times till the ill-fated rotation nonsense came in for the third test. Notably, Smith was just as defensive as Cook, and looked clueless and out of his depth till the divine intervention of Pattinson breaking down shifted the entire momentum of the series. No such luck for England this series. And when Eng lost wickets this series, they tended to be too defensive, and when they tried to change their style, Clarke's attacking field placings undid them.

  • TheBigBoodha on January 6, 2014, 7:24 GMT

    @Simon Myab, "when I see Johnson taking so many wickets without attacking the stumps... Most of his wickets come from wide balls, it tells me our batsmen lack discipline..." Did you even watch any of the games. What your comment tells me is that you must have been listening to the radio broadcast!It is astounding how many wickets Johnson got clean bowled or LBW - must have been far higher than any other bowler in the series!

  • C.Gull on January 6, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    @Vinay Kolhatkar: there are a few options here. Either: (1) you didn't watch the Ashes, and are fabricating simplistic explanations in the hope you will sound sage; (2) you don't understand cricket, therefore the fact that Australia had 5 of the top 5 batsmen and 4 of the top 5 bowlers in the series means nothing to you; (3) you are afflicted with Tendulkar Syndrome, whereby you cannot resist elevating one individual player to a godly position while rendering all others irrelevant; (4) you are insecure, so much so that you want to downplay any achievement by a team that isn't the one you follow. So which of these apply?

  • Rufus_Fuddleduck on January 6, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    @dunger.bob - there is more than a bit of truth in what you say. Post WC 2011, Dhoni's captaincy has become complacent to the point of being inert. India has hardly seized a moment in any match. Either the opposition implodes or wins against India, so England's win can be seen in that context and nothing remarkable about it. The other side was more hopeless and willing to give way at that moment.

  • on January 6, 2014, 6:50 GMT

    All of this analysis is generally nonsensical. Switch Mitchell Johnson to playing for England and suddenly England will start winning and Australia will start losing.

  • on January 6, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    Cook: "I've seen a 5-0 before. And I've seen the drive and determination that caused in the England team."

    Why wait until the team has been drubbed 5-0 before coming up with drive and determination? It should have been evident even before the start of the 1st Test. Apart from the occasional spark, this has been a compounded gutless performance

    Technique, batting and bowling, has been woeful. So much has already been said that it is hard to come up with anything fresh and non-repetitive.

    When I see a bowler like Johnson take so many wickets , yet rarely attack the stumps, it tells me that our batsmen have no discipline. Johnson huffs and puffs for 5-6 overs then he's done. Examine his balls (you know what I mean) and that will reveal that his wickets come in the main from wide deliveries. Don't coaches use bowling machines any more? Wind the blessed thing up to 90 mph and practice, practice and practice some more.

  • Chris_P on January 6, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    @DaisonGarvasis. Cook means that he was part of a 5-0 whitewash in 06/07 yet saw England climb back to #1 in all 3 formats. He is suggesting that they have done it once & have it in them to do so again, not that he expects it again. Time, as always, will tell if they can.

  • Chris_P on January 6, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    @ 5wombats. Cheers. How is the illness? Hope all is on the improve, although the last test probably didn't help. I know you're hurting, believe me, but this is still essentially the same side that took the series in India 12 months ago. I can't recall, in my cricket watching & playing seeing so many players lose form over such a sustained period. Panic should not happen. You don't lose class, nor are there any creaking bones (yet). I wrote 15 months ago, that for all his talent, Pieterson appeared to be a divisive element in the team, so something has happened internally for them to self implode so much. No doubt all will be revealed at some point in the future, but I still maintain your side isn't as bad as a lot of people make out or the scoreline reflects IMHO. Cheers mate, look after yourself.

  • humdrum on January 6, 2014, 5:30 GMT

    @DaisonGarvasis:That is precisely the gentle hint being dropped.He doesn't want to be outdone by Andy Flower who sneered at the media and asked:'Why should I resign if Eng lose 5-0?' The pride of playing for the country,if it existed,has long gone and sheer brazenness has taken over.If we can't cock a snook at the Aussies,let's do it to our own countrymen.The show must go on.

  • DaisonGarvasis on January 6, 2014, 4:25 GMT

    Cook - "I have lot of experience, I have seen 5-0 before." What is that supposed to mean? I have seen 5-0 before, I am seeing 5-0 now and I still have it in me to see a few more 5-0s????

  • jmcilhinney on January 6, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    Australia played well but not well enough to justify the result. England played poorly. It's hard to imagine that it's simply coincidence that so many previously successful players failed to perform all that the same time. I don't blame the bowlers. They had Australia in real trouble in the first innings a number of times. They didn't press home that advantage every time but they still kept the score to reasonable levels a number of times and were let down by the catching in Adelaide. They weren't great but they were good enough but they never had enough rest and never had enough runs to put any pressure on Australia in any second innings. I'm not about to blame Flower or Cook but I don't see how either can be backed unconditionally by the board. This result and the factors that led to it have to be analysed and, at the very least, Flower and Cook have to look at changes to ensure that it doesn't happen again. Carry on as they are and more results like this will probably result.

  • on January 6, 2014, 4:12 GMT

    The way I see it, England need to blood some new players. There are a couple of young fast bowlers in New Zealand, South Africa has a very nice 19 year old opener, Zimbabwe has two middle order batsmen and Australia has a spare wicket keeper....

  • on January 6, 2014, 4:10 GMT

    A coach who will be travelling with the national team for most part of the year and will hardly find time to watch county games wants to have the final say in selection. I don't see how that will be a problem!! Leave the job of selection to selectors and concentrate on being a good coach. IMO the coach and the captain should take care of the team and not play selectors.

  • GrandKhan on January 6, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    Pieterson was always wrong as an England player and is still wrong. He should have been left to stay away after the debacles of 2009. I don't care if his average is 1,000 and if he plays beautiful, aggressive shots all day, if cricket in England still means anything he should not be in the team. That last word is it for me - TEAM. What Lehmann did for Australia during the English summer and since is to build a team and make guys understand what it means to play for your country. Lehmann's guys think like a team, plan like a team, play like a team and, ultimately, win as a team. There are a lot of weaknesses in the Australian team. These guys got whitewashed by India and thumped by England. Despite the weaknesses Lehmann has moulded a team because it's the TEAM that wins or loses. Flower can't take such credit and as long as Pietersen is there he won't. He's had his 100 tests - let him go and do his thing in India or somewhere where country doesn't matter.

  • on January 6, 2014, 3:50 GMT

    I think England should change their name to Australia and see what happens!

  • on January 6, 2014, 3:07 GMT

    As an expat South African, I am embarrassed by the performance of the South Africans on this tour. Prior 3 ducks in a row, Peterson just threw his wicket in every innings and as for Trott, cometh the hour cometh the man. Will always be a problem when you have mercenaries in your team, when the chips are down, they go missing.

  • cricket_ahan on January 6, 2014, 3:02 GMT

    I think one blaring factor which this article doesn't point out is the differences in captaincy. Whatever can be said of England's preparation, they still had Australia in plenty of tough positions accross the series (the most recent being the 5-97 after the first session in Sydney) without being able to capitalise on them. Cook got away with poor captaincy in England's home series, largely because Australia's batsmen engineered their own destruction. Even then, the Aussies should have been put away much faster and easier than they were. Cook is highly defensive, and very inept at coming up with a Plan B when initial plans don't work out. Not surprisingly, this attitude appears to have permeated throughout the rest of the team. What makes this point even clearer is that the players who have scored any significant runs for England (Root, Carberry, Stokes) are younger players with little prior exposure to Cook's captaincy.

  • humdrum on January 6, 2014, 2:48 GMT

    Cook,the batsman(never mind the captain) averages approx 25 in his last 20 test innings,and still retains his place.Fair enough.By the same yardstick,Eng fans should be grateful to Carberry for scoring the runs that he has and ask questions on the team(non) selection,particularly Compton.Andy Flower's coy,bashful silence on this issue,non-promotion of Bell to no 3(except in Sydney,when it no longer mattered),non selection of Onions(not in squad)and Finn(in the squad) and selecting Borthwick (an embarrassment with his full tosses,how on the earth was he part of the squad)---these things can no longer be ignored.To quote David Gower in his heyday after the loss to the Windies in 1984,'Heads should roll' starting at the top.

  • TheBigBoodha on January 6, 2014, 1:32 GMT

    Millhouse79, It is plain wrong to say that Australia was thrashed by all and sundry. They had one awful patch of six months, consisting of seven test losses away from home. Little more than six months before the beginning of this current series they had had a very good run of 11 wins and 3 losses from 21 tests. In fact by my reckoning after taking over as captain Clarke has won 16 tests and lost 9. That includes the just completed series. Still, it is hardly supportive of your claim that they were thrashed by everyone. As for the T20 table, it is a bit of a joke. Very few games are played, and many teams simply use those games as warm ups, or to give youngsters a run. Australia finished third in the T20 WC, which reflects that they have plenty of fine T20 players.

  • dunger.bob on January 6, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    @ jb633: I've got a bit of an ill conceived theory about the impact of that victory you had in India and was wondering if it might hold any water. When I read your post in response to @5wombats, it seemed to me that the India series stands out like a beacon when compared to the others around it. It's never easy to win in India and doing it from a position of 1-0 down is a truly remarkable achievement. We Aussies know full well just how incredibly difficult a task that is. .. However, I think that in the long run it may have done England more harm than good. It provided some very plush looking wallpaper to put over the slowly widening cracks. The reason I say that is I think India were at their lowest point in 10 years or so right about then. They were still in a state of denial about the old stagers coming to the end of their run and were very vulnerable at the time. . Still a great effort by your guys, but not perhaps as outstandingly brilliant as it looks on paper.

    Am I close?

  • mithunramakrishnan on January 6, 2014, 0:01 GMT

    England is a better side than what the margin of defeats show. And they were not legendary when they were number one. Just that things did not click for England this time. Don't see a need to overhaul the set up and such. Australia at home is difficult for any team not only England. I think Australia would still face problems if they travel to England and play a series now ( considering that England chucks away the jaded business and man ups)

  • Nerk on January 5, 2014, 23:28 GMT

    Australia simply outplayed England. But England didn't help themselves with some bizarre selections - why Compton and Onions were not in the touring party I'll never know - even more bizarre tactical decisions on the field - setting the field back for Haddin first over of the day was my favourite - and poor shot selection - pretty much every wicket. Now is the time for soul searching, but not panic. Cook, KP and Bell are world class batsmen going through a rough trot. Anderson and Broad are top bowlers. There is no reason why they cant bounce back. Aus on the other hand have finally got their kit together. Their bowling attack in my opinion, is less skilled than that of the late 90s. But they work together so well. They are a team, unlike England who played like a group of individuals out for themselves.

  • zzby on January 5, 2014, 23:25 GMT

    England problem is there batting and what I think there is no problem with Cook as Captain. Few months ago people where comparing him with Julius Caesar and now complaining against him.

    Problem is with the no1,no3 and no6 place in batting , fix that and bring finn everything would be fine.

  • mahjut on January 5, 2014, 22:54 GMT

    "the environment flower created has led to 5-0"

    in case you didn't understand that you aussie gloaters ... there was not a single English fella to blame for this loss :)

  • on January 5, 2014, 22:53 GMT

    Cricinfo's video content is really enjoyable

  • on January 5, 2014, 22:46 GMT

    Australians were not in form 6months before, so how did they turn the table, their key is Jhonson. His pace became a threat to England batsman. Rayan and Siddle took their chances to well execute their plans to support Jhonson. England is actually lost all their confidence and haven't shown their fighting skills against Australians which makes the worst of worst. Australia is very good in playing mind games, taking all the positive chances putting everything in the field make them stronger,confident in attacking.Will see how they perform in south Africa.

  • bjkboyer on January 5, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    @xylo - Brendon McCullum would also he is a smart and aggressive unorthodox captain

  • wrenx on January 5, 2014, 22:02 GMT

    Why the continual whining about the schedule? As if Australia didn't tour India between the Ashes? Why is the schedule somehow more draining for England?

  • philvic on January 5, 2014, 21:44 GMT

    The Australian attack is decent but not near the level of south africa or great bowling attacks of the past. The Australian batting is poor with several players who are not really Test top-order standard (Warner,Watson,Bailey). England just completely lost it and succumbed in a completely spineless fashion. No doubt they will recover because there is still a lot of talent but quite why they lost all their fight so quickly and completely is a mystery to me.

  • on January 5, 2014, 19:50 GMT

    Simple thing Aussies planned and executed better than the English. They gave Clarke enough rest to be fit from his back worries. Recalled before Mitch before the India ODI series. Managed the workload of Siddle and Harris really well. Last and the most important of all the plan of Lehmann and co on paper was well executed by Clarke and co on the field.

  • Vkarthik on January 5, 2014, 19:20 GMT

    You can come up with all excuses. Fact was Australia bullied England. Even with soundest of strategies, most inform players of England could not have stopped this relentless onslaught. England enjoyed few series wins when others teams were going through transition. SA was the only one who was a settled side. England lost to them. Now other teams are coming together gradually. England is back to where they belonged before their unusual golden run.(a run where they failed to win series against Pakistan (0-3), SA, NZ, SL away from home. But for India carrying bunch of unfit old hags, England would have lost to India as well in India.Now this 0-5.

  • on January 5, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    Frankly I'm sorry to say that most of the folks here who are not supporting the inclusion of Compton haven't checked his stats.

    Compton averaged 34 in India in a 4 Test series.

    He averaged 46 in the 3 Test series in NZ.

    The only 2 Tests he failed in were the return series against NZ in the UK.

    After 9 Test matches, Compton has an average of 31 as an opener.

    Carberry on the other hand is averaging 28 after the 5 Test series against Australia.

    And Root is averaging 38 as an opener, but what goes against Root is that 53% of his runs as an opener came in that one innings of 180 at Lords!

    Compton has fared MUCH BETTER than Root & Carberry.

    Even after he was dropped, he was whacking the Australians all around the park when playing against them in the tour games.

    No matter how you look at it, Compton's omission was really unfair and uncalled for. He showed enough promise as an opener, he scored 2 consecutive hundreds. How many England openers managed that in the 12 months?

  • on January 5, 2014, 18:51 GMT

    It is a debacle. Someone ought to take the responsibility. If it is not Coach and Captain then who is it? Flower should show some dignity and resign. Cook should stay until ODI and if England is routed in ODI, he should resign as well.

  • xylo on January 5, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    Clarke is probably the only captain in the world right now that would play for a result rather than go conservatively for a draw.

  • jimmyvida on January 5, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    Ok, England lost, played badly, so what. England has the core players from which to build: Cook, Carberry, Bell, Pietersen, Stokes, Anderson and Broad. Cook must go back to batting like the Cook we know, not see ball, hit ball. He should not presume to be an attacking player. Don't worry England. You are still tops.

  • on January 5, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    Change the Captain and bring in new players esp for opening and go with 5 bowlers. Bell/KP should take a shot at captain ship.

  • ageas on January 5, 2014, 18:05 GMT

    In this era of all year international cricket, and with players entering national youth set ups very young, potential captains get no captaincy experience before captaining England. I don't think Strauss, Vaughan, Hussain or Cook have ever captained a county for any period of time, similarly Broad in the T20s. So the learning comes whilst captaining England. Not ideal!

  • Jaffa79 on January 5, 2014, 18:04 GMT

    Look...England were poor. Very poor. Draw a line under it, dust yourself down and come back stronger. Take a leaf out of the Australia's book who have been thrashed by all and sundry home and away and were ranked below Ireland in the T20 but showed a lot of heart and fire to come back strongly. England need young players to step up! I don't see a abundance of obvious talent but just as Stokes as proved; give the young 'uns a chance and at least they'll learn from the experience. Time for Chopra, Taylor, Stokes, Davies, Overton, Ali and Jordan to be given a go.

  • Hira1 on January 5, 2014, 17:42 GMT

    Cook is not the captaincy material as leaders are born leaders and cannot be made, therefore Flower and Cook must resign as England performance got worse from one match to another. Leaving of Prior, Swann, Trott, Root didnot helped the team but make the thing more poorer, this shows that the problem of replacing player is not helping the cause. If Cook and Flower stays am afraid that KP, Bell and / or Anderson will soon likely to follow Trott and Swann. This will led England to all time low and will take years to recover from there.

  • Vikramaditya100 on January 5, 2014, 17:22 GMT

    First of all.... Congrats to the Aussies.... Where have you been long time no see.... England.... even when they were winning.... were boring to watch.... but when the Aussies were playing (esp Harris or MJ bowling) they were just a treat to watch.... Over to South Africa now....

  • Graham1225 on January 5, 2014, 17:19 GMT

    I expect that victories by away teams in Test matches will become fewer, as has been the trend in 2013. As well as familiarity with home conditions, too much international cricket means that players, particularly the senior ones, are becoming less happy touring and spending prolonged periods away from home. This certainly seems to have been the case with this England touring party. I would prefer to see less overseas tours and the international players playing more domestic cricket in the summer for their counties, thereby reinvigorating the county game and making the top overseas players available for county cricket.

  • VenkyN on January 5, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    George seems to point finger at Flower for everything, without really giving the captain his due of the flak. Cook is clearly an average captain. The cracks are papered over when the bowling unit is masking them, or when he himself is making runs, or when Bell rescues a top order collapse. But under consistent pressure in this series, his decision making has been ultra defensive and poor. I wonder why this goes completely unmentioned in this article. You can point at instances in virtually every match, and every session in which England was bowling where Cook's captaincy was defensive and conservative rather than imaginative and aggressive as was the wont with his counterpart. While Clarke was brilliant, Cook was meek and that made a decent bowling attack look toothless at times.

  • on January 5, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    One team was playing to win another team for going home soon....... England never played the game with conviction or interest. Even the preformance squad would have done much better..... lots of things to be done before home summer. Three glaring mistakes.... Compton's omission from the team, Lack of Instant decision making like changing batting order or field placements, allowing the tail of Oz to wag

  • on January 5, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    Poor Poor performance by England which is among the best test team in the world

  • on January 5, 2014, 16:57 GMT

    England deserved the white wash. The reason behind this dismal performance is their poor selection & lack of back up players. Eoin Morgan, James Tradewell, not selected. England also need a genuine all rounder.

  • cricfootyfan on January 5, 2014, 16:13 GMT

    England's problems started well before the tour. They just survived against the Kiwis. The team had internal/unity issues and there were signs of overconfidence bordering on hubris. Cook's captaincy was unimaginative and often too defensive (his batsmen making it difficult to attack as well).

    The team needs overhauling just like the Indian team has been through recently. It may also be time for Flower to go - he also seems to have run out of ideas and it is a case of being good while it lasted.

    In contrast, Australia recovered well from last Ashes and India series. There were many occasions when their team was in trouble but someone (Smith, Haddin) came to the party. The bowling was incisive and the bowlers went into each session with a point to prove.

  • Arjun_Sharma on January 5, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    ECB must be glad that at least none of the English player in this squad will (can) demand to play in IPL this summer!

  • Nutcutlet on January 5, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    A captain and leader may appear to many to be the same thing, and although there is some obvious & significant overlap, there is no doubt in my mind that there are, in the final analysis, distinct. A leader has the confidence of his followers; he leads them with their collective consent &, of course, there is affection & admiration in varying proportions for the leader from those who are led. All this may be true for a captain; but, vitally, a captain is semi-detached from his team. His is essentially a lonely position because he has to make decisions for which he has to take sole responsibility; he's a strategist, a general - not a junior officer on the front line. He needs the courage to follow through on his thinking. He needs to evolve his ideas, making things happen as he has schemed them, rather than being solely reactive. Leaders are silver; captains are gold. Cook leads his men, but his captaincy is pedestrian, predictable, & in all likelihood, scripted in advance by Flower.

  • liz1558 on January 5, 2014, 15:54 GMT

    @BradmanSecondBestEver - re: Darwinism. I've been looking for an example of hubris that I can show to philosophy students. Harder to find a statement that fits better than yours. Of course you understand what inevitably follows hubris?

  • ahweak on January 5, 2014, 15:47 GMT

    Agree with George completely. The new players coming in don't seem to be playing freely. Once the freedom of expression is taken away, the fun part goes and it becomes monotonous. So, any amount of personnel change will not work in this environment. Also, I don't see how Flower can change himself to fundamentally see life and cricket differently than he did until yesterday. He needs to go and England should stop trying to reshape every player to fit into Flower's view of cricket.

  • coarsecricketer on January 5, 2014, 15:46 GMT

    @milepost. 'SA in trouble'? Hmmm... We shall see. If I were an Aussie (which, thankfully, I am not) I would be be very concerned about how fragile the Oz top order was, at home, against a good medium-paced attack. Away from home? Against the no.1 and no.2 ranked Test bowlers? Against bowlers who can consistently bowl at 140 Kms per hour and above? And with the (admittedly good) Oz bowlers against the best batsmen in the world? Let us wait until Jan/Feb before we see who is 'in trouble'.

  • Nutcutlet on January 5, 2014, 15:40 GMT

    Call me naive if you like, but when something has gone wretchedly wrong, I expect to hear of resignations within a few hours. Resigning is an honourable course of action; it demands immediate respect & clears the way for new incumbents. This, however, is not an especially honourable age in many fields of human endeavour & so why should England's cricket be any different? Instead, we have seen what so often happens in place of falling on swords -- a great many well-recieved honest words expressing heartfelt sorrow for the team's performance, treating us like idiots by coming out with such phatic utterances as 'difficult/hard choices lie ahead.' Not good enough! Still, the Establishment has adopted one traditional tactic in the face of incomprehending & growing hostility -- they have, most predictably, closed ranks. Morris supports Flower & Cook; Cook supports Flower & vice-versa. Very cosy! are we any further forward? Nope! Is there hope for the future? Nope, because nothing's changed.

  • bigwonder on January 5, 2014, 15:35 GMT

    "A media-hyped team comes crashing down to earth" - that should be a fitting title for England. When I first read about precise and specific meal demands from ECB prior to the ashes it made me wonder if they are taking micro-management to a whole new level but now we see the results of it. We can now say with certainity that winning the last test-series in India was a fluke. I don't believe "players are tired" reason as England players are the most rested players in the world - specifically due to lack of IPL participation and over-implemented rest/rotation policy. Rebuilding needs to start now and focus needs to be on improving team weakness - specifically outside of swinging conditions.

  • mensan on January 5, 2014, 15:34 GMT

    I think Carberry is a spend force. No use investing in him. Try a younger guy. Compton was not too bad.

  • mensan on January 5, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    The emergence of Ben Stokes looks to be the only gain from Ashes for England.

  • DC75 on January 5, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    The only significant achievement that England had in the recent past was beating India in India BUT that Indian team was more or less spent force, the batting order which is India's main stay was going through transition - Sehwag, Gambhir, Tendulkar and others were walking wickets and indian spinners were woefully out of form and out of class (true even today - Ashwin and Ojha are no match for the likes of Kumble and to some extent Harbhajan). England got beaten by Pakistan, SA and almost lost to NZ home and away, they should have read the signs and changed.

  • on January 5, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    It is becoming a trend to whitewash foreign teams in your backyard. Would be interested go see how Aussie top order reacts to Steyn and co. in SA. They have a pretty good looking bowling attack but top order remains fragile. England's glory was always doubtable and beating that Indian team 4-0 is not big deal. Their real test was in Oz and rhey failed. Cook cooked!

  • on January 5, 2014, 15:18 GMT

    England's body language after the first innings of the test was not there and they felt like beaten and no one seemed to put a fight to stay in the second and folded easily. Really they have to work very very hard and take positive if they are to stay in the first 5 of the test rankings. Good luck to them for their next tour. All support to be given to Cook since this same team beat Aus handsome in England

  • Dhanvanth on January 5, 2014, 15:16 GMT

    With himself saying there are many places up for grabs, I see a lot of changes in the English squad for the next test series vs SL.. here is my XI: cook, carberry, root, kp, bell, buttler, stokes, broad, tredwell, Anderson, finn!

  • BradmanBestEver on January 5, 2014, 15:12 GMT

    The English players should get their playing clothes cleaned before they leave Australian shores because Aussies are clearly very good at whitewashing

  • on January 5, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    England, on paper at least, should have won this series before Brisbane. The loss of Trott, Swann and Prior hurt England, not just without the world-class stats of the respective players, but suffered as much, if not more, psychologically. Australia hit hard at all the English stars and the series stats show this. Only Broad overcame this, yet Anderson was reduced to replaying his first couple of years of Test cricket; Cook flloundered; Bell was mentally done after Adelaide and while Pietersen fought, Australia stuck to their plans to him. One century from Stokes says a lot about the Australian bowling execution to plans. Mind, the Australian batting was often woeful, too, but for the first time in recent memory a batsman hung around with Haddin. Put another way, England couldn't have carried Bailey after Adelaide (and Australia shouldn't any longer either).

  • BradmanBestEver on January 5, 2014, 15:01 GMT

    Cricketing Darwinism has restored equilibrium between Australian and English cricket.

    We will have a decade or more of Australian domination.

    For English supporters they should be happy that they experienced a short period of success but they should also be happy in the knowledge that their team is back in its rightful place. And who better to restore an out of balance situation than the Aussies?

  • milepost on January 5, 2014, 15:00 GMT

    SA are in trouble, here come a rampant Australia into conditions that suit them and home support is no advantage to SA, they barely get any. Thankfully it's a lot closer to my current time zone too so no more waking up to 'England destroyed' or 'England in tatters'.

  • on January 5, 2014, 14:59 GMT

    To use a FLOWERy metaphor, England got overCOOKed ! Result, unpalatable!

  • on January 5, 2014, 14:58 GMT

    This tour has unfolded like a high speed car crash. It was an unexpected disaster and it was all over very quickly. England came here favourites, cruising at 70mph. The first test was like a blowout - bad but not fatal. They lost control in the second test, and they started rolling in the third. The following two tests were comparable to passengers being ejected from the rolling car (the dropping of Prior and Panesar) and it all finally came to a rest last night. A disastrous scenario that nobody had been expecting, and the English cricket team is in a mess. It can only get better, it's time to pick up the pieces and start again.

  • Lion83 on January 5, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    Coach can only improve the mentality of the players at the moment Darren Leahmen just doing that by getting best out of average players in the Australian side.

  • VPSrivastava on January 5, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    And who had said that tour of India and defeat in ODIs will doome Aussies in Ashes because neither it is ideal wicket for preparation nor its defeat will do any good for team. But see the result for themselves. Mitchel Johnson came to his own on the tour of India itself.

  • on January 5, 2014, 14:45 GMT

    West Indies are the only team that is poor. England played to their best and were whitewashed. Good for them .Do not get me wrong, I do not like the Aussies , but they played the better cricket. Gooch should shut his mouth, He failed as batting coach but he was criticl of Carberry. Why, because he is black.,All of the others failed why pick on him.

    Lick your wounds, England, and retreat to your cave and heal, Come out fighting again.

  • HatsforBats on January 5, 2014, 14:42 GMT

    You can't have it both ways. England were exhausted before they began, yet Broad bowled with pace and stamina? Try again. Broad & Stokes were the only thing preventing 5 innings losses. I feel sorry for Carberry, cast out upon a foundering ship without assistance

  • on January 5, 2014, 14:16 GMT

    The best part is that England rested their players from Champions trophy etc so that their players were ready and fighting fit for Australia tour.Not only did they lose the Champion's Trophy but now got annihilated by resurgent Australia. At the time of Tendulkar's retirement he was asked about the England tour of Australia and he said "They have to look out for Johnson".....How right he was! One lesson to learn for England is that when there is 'war' about to happen train your soldiers well instead of giving them Rest, the bones get rusted and one has no guts left!

  • kosm on January 5, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    AltafPatel you keep saying England almost won the Ashes 4-0 in England but considering the close result in the first match and the two rain affected games I'd say it was just as likely for England to have lost 3-2 as it was for them to win 4-0.

  • CricketFan1980 on January 5, 2014, 14:14 GMT

    @AltafPatel - They did not get rid of Lehmann because he was not the coach at that time. They did sack Arthur who was the coach during the 4-0 fiasco.

  • CricketFan1980 on January 5, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    Calm down people. England will whitewash (or at least beat handsomely) both Sri Lanka and India in next summer and normalcy will be restored. The next Ashes is in England in 2015 and England will retain it with very few new players (read bowlers) unleashed against Sri Lanka and India. Australian top order is still pretty bad. Even with the new set of players from who the ones whitewashed in India (That is right George. It is not the same set of players for Australia as there were obvious changes to the team), this Australian team was saved by Haddin for all the matches in this series. He cannot do that forever. Steve Smith's plucky centuries, Clarke's captaincy and Harris' fitness are definite positives that will not fade away easily after one series. Johnson, on the other hand, for all the bouncers and aggression, did bowl when his side had put the runs on the board. He bowled beautifully and if he continues it against South Africa then we can begin to believe he has found his "mojo".

  • Johnny_129 on January 5, 2014, 14:10 GMT

    England Oh Englaaaand - Eng criticised India a lot when they took over #1 Test ranking from an Indian team that was coming off the back of a WC win!! Eng's #1 ranking was short lived - India was there for nearly two years and England was there for 2 months! Lesson learnt, I hope. But there is some consolation for England - Aus will go on to smash SA. SA have built up Steyn and Philander a lot but right now Johnson & co are cut above the rest. Steyn no doubt is a great bowler and Philander thrives in his presence - But as India has just shown, they are not unplayable.

  • PACERONE on January 5, 2014, 14:07 GMT

    Flower may have molded this team into a winning team against a week Australian team that was not playing well or to a plan.They could not beat Pakistan.Beat a terrible playing Indian team with no fast bowlers or great spinners.Pakistan has good fast bowlers and spinners,SA has the fast bowlers to cause problems and England will have problems with those teams,no matter who the coach is or the players they bring in.Bell could not play Ajmal,how will the new finds fare..not good.

  • dropoutguy on January 5, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Flower must go. Cook is saved only because there is no ready alternative.

    I am mystified and dismayed by the apparent mismanagement of Panesar. There is no Test class spinner apart from him.

    Also, where is the new opener that we need going to come from? Robson? Could Trott return to fulfil that role?

  • AltafPatel on January 5, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    Eng won test series in India in 2013 where Aus was whitewashed 4-0. Then they won ashes almost 4-0. Master class coach Flower became deserved to get out all of sudden ? Who play on the field ? What he can do when one of top player get back to home because of psycho problem! If players themselves become frightened from start of the tour, what your coach can do ?!

  • gaj_vij on January 5, 2014, 13:54 GMT

    The fact is that the cricket is most curropt game in the world and administrator of the cricket mend the result in the way which is most benificial to them. Players are puppet and we fans are fool. Let come IPL, there will be competition among the fans to be fooled like hell. Every 1 knows it Cricket Player, cricket media, commentators, fans though we pretend like the show is real!!

  • on January 5, 2014, 13:52 GMT

    England did not adapt themselves to the rejuvenated AUS Pace attack and treated the same ways as in England few months back. Let's accept England were overconfident. They still have world class players who defeated Aus 3 times in a row and India in India which no side has done except SA and AUS once in 2 decades. They just did not click in this series and the decision of Trott and Swann added spice to it. Swann should not have come to the tour or should have left at end of tour.

  • AltafPatel on January 5, 2014, 13:47 GMT

    When Aus loose in Eng almost 4-0, did they get rid of Lehman !!?

  • munna_indian on January 5, 2014, 13:37 GMT

    a captain is half good as his team. cook rode on the success of key players like trott, bell, swann, anderson and pieterson. i must say trott and swann had ditched him at the start of the series. and surprised to see underperforming bell, pieterson and anderson. anderson is teh type of the bowler who relies on pace and swing. in the entire series, he only had decent pace but zero swing and hence was a failure.its time to bring finn, bresnan rankin on a consistent basis to support broad. anderson days are over.

  • on January 5, 2014, 13:30 GMT

    England lost it because Australia won all the big/critical moments

  • on January 5, 2014, 13:27 GMT

    Donot forget the special dieet requirments England had for Its Players!

  • Back-Foot-Cringe on January 5, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    @mainul079080 "I have become sick of Ashes. I dont wanna see any of this series in next 3 years."

    Then, by all means, don't watch it. Simple fix.

  • heathrf1974 on January 5, 2014, 13:20 GMT

    They definitely need a new captain (there are no natural leaders in the team), someone in the coaching staff who can give the fun in cricket back to the players and Onions to partner with Broad and Anderson. There's not a lot of changes required as about 80% of the squad are the best England have.

  • crazyguru on January 5, 2014, 13:13 GMT

    the selection was horrible. australia were very good but not 5-0 good. they were good enough to win the series against the same team playin to it's full potential though. when england lost n adelaide 5-0 was inevitable. i think england should've been pro active in selection atleast after that. finn should've played in perth. u're not goin to win matches with bresnan and stokes and swann in perth. enough said, australia were great. especially with the ball. but they can still improve in batting, i suppose

  • Ross_Co on January 5, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    The current 'England' team has most certainly lsft a legacy.

  • luggang on January 5, 2014, 13:05 GMT

    This series shows how far test cricket has declined since the start of 20/20, a record number of sixes yet the batting - with the exception of rogers, haddin and smith, was absymal. neither side would have scored over 100 against the west indies attack of the 1980s, nor against akram and younis in the 1990s. England are a shambles and i think there's at least 5 of the current side who should never play test cricket again.

  • luggang on January 5, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    This series shows how far test cricket has declined since the start of 20/20, a record number of sixes yet the batting - with the exception of rogers, haddin and smith, was absymal. neither side would have scored over 100 against the west indies attack of the 1980s, nor against akram and younis in the 1990s. England are a shambles and i think there's at least 5 of the current side who should never play test cricket again.

  • CodandChips on January 5, 2014, 13:02 GMT

    Agree that the coaches need out. But I think so do Bell and Pietersen. KP should be left for white ball cricket, with focus on WT20 and ODI world cup. Bell was great in the home ashes, but not before then, and this series has been mainly poor except once or twice.

    1.Cook (c) 2.Root 3.Ali 4.Taylor 5.Ballance 6.Stokes 7.Davies (wk) 8.Broad 9.Anderson 10.Finn 11.Kerrigan

    I know radical. Cook should stay to captain and because we don't have many decent openers. Kerrigan is a risk, but a good spinner, and Moeen Ali could back him up. Also early test wickets in England usually help seamers so he shouldn't be required to play too important a role. Davies is a better keeper than Bairstow in my opinion and averaged more than him in the championship. Bairstow should be allowed a full season or 2 with Yorkshire.

    Yes itd be tough at first.

    Id have Borthwick, Jordan and Vince as back up. Borthwick as reserve all rounder. If Kerrigan gets injured, Jordan for Kerrigan, and Borthwick for Stokes.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:59 GMT

    On a very simplistic note, England's top order has essentially had only one consistent man - Alistair Cook. They haven't found an able replacement for Strauss. Carberry, Compton and all other whatshisnames are not good enough at this level. Only other man capable of single-handedly driving England, Pietersen, was under-par all series. The cornerstone of much of England's success in recent years was the punchy counterattack their lower middle order provided. Prior was the best keeper-bat around not so long ago, Broad (avg. 24+), Swann (avg 22+) were always good for 50-60 extra runs, Jimmy was stubborn. But Johnson's pace this series effectively reduced everyone below Bell to a tailender. So England scored at least 100 less every innings than they would have wanted, which overworked the bowlers and it all snowballed.

  • Micky.Panda on January 5, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    England just don't have the bowlers to match Australian attack. They don't like Aussie pitches and don't like the Kookaburra ball. However Aussie bowlers coped reasonably in England. Make no mistake. Australian batting is not so special at all. Haddin and the tail had to save them so many times. Its Haddin and the bowlers that are the huge difference between the 2 teams. England batting is not that bad even if a little out of form and demoralised. Broad and Stokes have been O.K. but neither of them is express. England need express bowlers for certain countries. Australias 2nd string of bowlers (when fit) is pretty good too: Pattinson, Cummins, Bird, Hilfenhaus, Bollinger, Faulkner, etc.

  • IndianEagle on January 5, 2014, 12:54 GMT

    both cook and nick compton are same in terms of strike rate. Both are boring and sinpgle minded

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:51 GMT

    where is nasser hussain ............

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:49 GMT

    Fire all the coaches. Bell to captain. Compton, Onions in. Prior and Root back in. Find any spinner you can. Move on.

    England aren't a bad team. just a tired one.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    When the England players arrive back in the UK I hope they get pelted with rotten fruit and veg at the airport. They are a disgrace to the sporting nation. Resignations from captain, coach and support staff are the order of the day plus the retirement of one or two "senior" players plus a rethink on the coaching setup at Loughborough. We are heading for another period like the 1990's but hopefully the rebuilding will reap long term dividends.

    Before I finish, well done to Australia, they were as good as England were bad and I can't pay a high enough compliment then that!

  • Mr.CricketJKNotHussey on January 5, 2014, 12:45 GMT

    @Manj Dhariwal India recently proved their worth on pace friendly pitches against one of the best pace attacks (SA)....I'm pretty sure they can handle Broad and Co. SL have not had many test matches recently so its hard to say, but they seem to have potential. Don't rule out the subcontinent, England just got whitewashed, at the ashes, something thats not easy to recover from....its going to be a tough couple of months for them and they need a major overhaul

  • RonG on January 5, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    As an Indian supporter and thus an Ashes neutral, I think that Aussies were far superior in bowling and thus won easily. England definitely under-performed but these same guys will comfortably overcome India in the English summer. If England make wholesale changes and get rid of experienced players it will only benefit India.

    I think the pressure wrought by the press, led to muddled selection. How come Panesar was dropped for Borthwick, he seemed to be much less of a bowler than Panesar; Swann retiring mid-series - he suddenly cannot become so bad that he has to retire, even in the previous Ashes he was not great either even with big scores from his batters to back him up. Carberry, of all the guys he along with Stokes handled Johnson the best yet there is talk of him being dropped.

    In any case, it will be an interesting English summer and before that SA-Australia promises to be a cracker!

  • southstoke49 on January 5, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    WHY no inquiry? Any ideas? Last 5-0 we lost to a great team with many of our players injured and yet there was a full Schofield report. The main difference between the 2 sides that started the 10 match series is the coach of Australia, which would fairly obviously point to our structure being wrong.

    I think the problem is that the structure is not suited to the modern day cricket circus. The last 4 years of English cricket has led to the team being picked before looking at form/conditions. With so much cricket being played there should be more alternatives made available and players kept hungry for places and not cast out once there place is lost. Initialy a stable set up s needed if rebuilding a team from scratch (look at what Lehmann has done) but after that competition & stimulation needs to be focused on. This would not mean a complete rebuild is needed around a few players which is what happened before. For eg use Anderson/Onions interchangably & as strike/holding bowler.

  • disco_bob on January 5, 2014, 12:39 GMT

    @mainul079080, I'll tell you what was boring mate, and that was hearing about Tendulkar's imminent 100th hundred over and over and over. Too bad it couldn't happen during the tour of Australia and had to wait for an asian cup ODI against Bangladesh.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    I disagree about this Nick Compton thing. It was correct to drop him. Here's why: Everyone is saying England need to play more positive cricket. But Nick Compton was the most boring, slow scoring, defensive batsman i've seen. He made Alastair Cook look like David Warner. Nick Compton is not the answer. If England need to inject positivity in their approach to batting, they need someone at the top of the order capable of taking the initiative. That is not Nick Compton. And as we have seen, it's not Carberry or Root either.

    The selectors will have a tough job finding an opener who can relieve some of the expectations on Cook to perform every time. This series made one thing clear. If Cook fails, they all fail.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:27 GMT

    One lesson for all teams...express pace defeats every game plan..crickets equivalent of a knock out artist and once genuine pace unnerves a batsman,its game over,confidence shattered. If Johnson don't get you,Harris will. The great Waqar Younus said it best 2 days ago..Imran Khan's instruction to Waqar and Wasim was "bowl as fast as you can"...nothing else! Its said that modern day batsmen don't face express pace..perhaps..although there are many more quick bowlers than ever (can bowl low to high 140s) but only 1 express guy in the sport (Johnson)...perhaps the hat should be donned and acknowledge that he was simply too good...No team in history has faced left arm 150 clicks for 5 tests and its just a different dimension.Harris is equally good..any team with 2 world class quicks firing are going to win a lot of matches. That's why its a pity that Finn didn't get a single test especially at Perth.

  • Paul_Somerset on January 5, 2014, 12:22 GMT

    The bigger the coaching staff, the more bad coaches it contains. A coaching staff of fifty inevitably includes 47 coaches who are worse than those who would make up a coaching staff of three.

  • Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on January 5, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    @mainul079080, not only are you on a website reading about the Ashes, you are also going out of your way to copy and paste the same comment on every article about them. Just don't watch if you think it's boring. I find baseball boring but I do not go onto ESPN baseball news to tell everyone about it lol! As far as this article goes, George Dobell is absolutely right. I expect Flower to be sacked quite soon, along with the other coaching staff and I won't be surprised if a Cook loses his job too. His form doesn't justify his selection and look where carrying players in poor form has landed England. Second whitewash in 5 series against Australia is quite something to have on your CV for some of these players.

  • icemankimi on January 5, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    @class9ryan . When did India look weaker as a test team to you mate... ??? They were'nt afraid of facing fast bowling anytime. If you see in the recent test series in SA, they faced the likes of Morkel, Steyn and Philander pretty well. Its fair to say England just didn't have that temperment for test cricket. They just failed to bat for longer periods and bowl consistently for longer spells as the aussies did.

  • disco_bob on January 5, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    It is true the England team talk about leaving a legacy, but they did not say what type of legacy. To be this comprehensively annihilated IS a legacy of sorts. The sort of legacy befitting of a team who spoke of total world domination after parading around London in an open top bus and immediately getting walloped in the return series 5-0 for the very first modern day Ashes whitewash. Their final act was to doctor the pitches in England instead of going for a fair fight, and ironically urinating on the pitch as an appropriate gesture to the dry turners prepared. Fittingly they have left another 5-0 drubbing as the legacy that will define this team.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:15 GMT

    The start of England's decline (while they had some magnificent series wins in between, most notably in India) was that tour to the UAE in winter 2012. Subsequent wins against weak opposition in English conditions papered over the cracks.

    Since that UAE tour, England's top order have failed again, and again, and again, and again. Every time, 7-11 dug them out of a hole. That didn't happen here and they were exposed for what they are. (With the ball, they have been consistently good for a long time.)

    When you look at the batsmen who have tried to come in - Morgan, Bopara, Taylor, Bairstow, Root, Carberry, Compton, Ballance - all have failed, and look a long way off. And that is a large part of the problem. You would never think of dropping Cook, (Trott), Pietersen, Bell for any of the other 8. Even dropping Prior has proven worse. The fact that the big 4 (or 5) are untouchable by the next in line has created a climate where they can consistently underperform.

  • jb633 on January 5, 2014, 12:11 GMT

    @5wombats, agree with your sentiment entirely. What angers me is that for the past 2 years (since UAE tour) we have been sliding considerably yet our coaching staff and media were seemingly blind to it. I remember during that UAE tour we crumbled against high class spin bowling. The way we glossed over that tour and failed to react it was as it it never happened. We then were roundly beaten by SA but the KP saga was used as a smokescreen to hide the fact we were outplayed. Against NZ both home and away and even the home Ashes series we were winning with no style or conviction but were doing just enough to get by. We should have lost the away leg vs NZ but weather aided our survival. What angers me is that it has got to take the worst sporting performance of all time for our management and media to see that things need a change. This has not happened all of a sudden but is the finale of what has been lowering standards for 2 yars (excluding India away tour).

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    england will easily beat sri lanka and india at home. bowling and batting for both teams are weak on english conditions

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:07 GMT

    England were already good when Flower took over. They were already good when Cook took over. The team cannot remotely be expected to improve under these two. No matter the ashes whitewash, you already have what is by and large the best squad available, so change the management. Uninspired, unimaginative, micro-management just doesn't cut it at the top level.

  • Unifex on January 5, 2014, 12:02 GMT

    @whensdrinks is right - the Poms were certain they had it won before they started- just rock up, play ok,and Australia would give it to them. Before long, it'd be time to update the sprinkler dance. They have come apart spectacularly and it's a warning to all teams not to get too complacent.

  • Big_Chikka on January 5, 2014, 12:01 GMT

    lots and lots .........and lots of excuses, reasons...................no team or player has a right to win anything, this was a bad series and no amount of money or personnel will ever eradicate defeats, chill. make the game more amenable to more players in the uk, make more opportunities not less, become more inclusive and we may reduce the peaks and the troughs. above all pick and play the best 11 every time. shame we don't get to hear what the selection committees discuss, far to much transparency for some.

  • on January 5, 2014, 12:00 GMT

    Correction please. These matches, even though one sided in appearance were far from boring. Secondly several of the English players were experienced ( and formerly successful ) in Aus conditions - Cook, Bell, KP, Swann, Trott, Broad, Anderson- so it was not as if they experienced situation that were alien to them. I think that they were just blown away by an aggressive opposition more hungry than them for the taste of victory.

  • DanTas on January 5, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    Enjoyment of the game is paramount. Just as Mickey Arthur failed with the Australians, Flower and co. seem to have made the same mistakes. Whatever the field of endeavour, one is not likely to meet with much success if the enjoyment is missing. Apart from the youngsters like Stokes and Root, still fresh and with youthful enthusiasm and vigour, the English players did not appear to be having much fun. That was even before the series had been decided.

  • RogerC on January 5, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    Can we go through again the food menu designed for English cricket team during this tour?

  • igorolman on January 5, 2014, 11:57 GMT

    It's easy to say 'Cook must go', and indeed he's not a good captain. But how much of that is due to the environment he's in and that Team England creates? Strauss got a lot of the same criticism - reactive, defensive etc, especially losing in WI in 2009 - but nobody minded when we were winning. Anyway, if Cook does go, who takes over? None of the current team is a natural captain (don't talk to me about Broad), so we have to look to get in a new player and make him captain immediately. And turn around a 0-5. No pressure then.

    The biggest worry for me is spin bowling. Panesar's gone, Kerrigan and Borthwick are so obviously not Test quality yet. Cook obviously has no confidence in any spinner post-Swann.

    Cook, Bell, Pietersen, Stokes, Prior, Anderson and Broad will all play in the summer, retirements permitting. Yes, Prior. He was basically withdrawn because he was shot, but a few months off should revive him. Now we need an opener, a middle-order batsman, a seamer and a spinner.

  • on January 5, 2014, 11:53 GMT

    give these folks a break, they have been asked to work like a clock for too long, see the likes of trott, give them time to recharge, the five-fers and the centuries would come along again.

  • Chris_Howard on January 5, 2014, 11:51 GMT

    So easy to explain it away as the coach, and the atmosphere he brought. I didn't see it in England when Australia were losing. I didn't see Hughes, Cowan and Khawaja having fun. Adn at time sLehmann looked the glummest of them all.

    Winning is fun, losing is not.

    No amount of Lehmann jokes would have worked if Australia was losing. You can't laugh off losing.

    If England had've rolled Australia cheaply in Brisbane, you'd be now toasting Cook and Flower. The team that won that first day, gained the confidence to win the Ashes, while the other team lost confidence.

    And no amount of jokes has done anything for Australia's first innings top order batting.

    If you want to put the win on any coach, it's gotta be McDermott.

    But Australia didn't win, anyway. England handed the Ashes to us on a platter.

  • IndianInnerEdge on January 5, 2014, 11:49 GMT

    Blaming AF for the 5-0 is wrong, a coach creates the strategy, forces players out of their comfort zones, forces them to think outside the square, challenges them, makes them believe in themselves and makes them believe they are better than they actually are. End of the day England were gazumped by a team that belived in themselves, were hungrier, fed of each others success, and in Mitch johnson found the cutting edge. All this talk of humiliation, debacle, flogging, team was tired before it landed in oz etc is trivial - just acknowldege that a better team won and move on.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on January 5, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Another issue of Compton in Eng's top order is it would've added another similar player to the other 2 -Carb/Cook.Strokeless wonders all.Something Eng would'nt want v an attack of Aus qlty.Even 1 of them manage to last 20 overs score wld be 30 odd/3 Wkt.

  • eddiehemmingswobble on January 5, 2014, 11:46 GMT

    Michael Vaughan made a great point. Pietersen down at third man is no good. He is a senior player and should be influencing this team. He should be standing next to Cook and asked for his advice. I believe if he still has the hunger then Cook should be managing his character and including him as a senior member of the team. Cook is not a great captain, but that matters not if you have good personnel around you. To lose this series 5 - 0 to a decent (but not great) team is disappointing to say the least. England have made Johnson look like a legend and he is not. He rode the wave of aggression from the Australian team, and fair paly to him, but he is not a cricketer who will be remembered as a D.K. Lillee The word "legend" is cheap I guess. This England team have been beaten badly by a well organised, aggressive team. The way they have surrendered is disappointing. Other than Broad and Stokes there is no one in this side that can hold there head high.

  • screamingeagle on January 5, 2014, 11:40 GMT

    England will do better when India comes calling. The bowling attack we have will see to it. Having said that, maybe having Cook and Flower in place will not be such a bad thing for Indians :)

  • 5wombats on January 5, 2014, 11:38 GMT

    It's hard to know where to start.... Maybe facts; England is right back where it started. ""The buck stops with me, but there's also collective responsibility. However on the playing front I take responsibility". Flower after Sydney 2014??? No, Flower after Sabina Park February 2009. www.espncricinfo.com/wiveng2009/content/story/389811.html Since Feb 2009 England have won 3 Ashes - 1 of them away. We have have drawn a series in SA and whitewashed world number 1 India and then beaten India in India. And reached #1 in Tests. But somehow, somewhere - we have ended up right back where we started. Flower and his coaching team are micro-managers who have managed to take all the joy out of the greatest game. None of the England players wanted to be out there. WHY? HOW did it happen? One thing is for sure - something has to change - just as it did before that fateful tour of the West Indies in 2009. Can Flower change? If he can't/won't - then he has to go. We can't go on like this.

  • xtrafalgarx on January 5, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    @Mainul: No one is forcing you to watch them. If you dont like them don't watch them, simple. However i agree with your sentiment, at least it's 18 months till the nest one.

  • TahirMukhtar on January 5, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    Why have another bleak moment of Pakistan thrashing and white washing England 4-0 in UAE not been mentioned in the article?

  • class9ryan on January 5, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    All of sudden England looks weaker even than India and Pakistan, I think re-investing Compton should not be a bad decision. Cook, Compton, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Buttler/Davies, Bresnan, Anderson, Broad, Panesar/Tedwell not a bad team for a year or so.

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on January 5, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    The excuse of 'missing players'- non selection is just that.Is akin to rearrang. deck on Titanic.For the recd. Compton hasn't 1 real big score -couple of middling score of 80s/90s n/w-in weak county sys. in recent games.What chance v worlds best attack?

  • whensdrinks on January 5, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    Pride cometh before the fall and it was a big fall

  • ashes_galore on January 5, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Get rid of the ECB management. They are terrible at managing and selecting the players who can do the job.

  • BCCIRoxx on January 5, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Very disheartening performance by the English cricketers. By watching them in this series, seems like there start another "18 years" wait for them. They seem to be heading to similar thrashings in chase of "The Urn" for next decade's Ashes. There seems, only a "Freddie" will eventually bail them off! Australia now have improved a lot after all those hopeless years; post '07... If this English downward trend continues, then I think all the Aussie enthusiasm of playing, watching quality and competitive cricket will get limited to "THE GAVASKAR-BORDER" Trophy....

  • mainul079080 on January 5, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    I think ICC should take measures in future about this kind of boring one sided back to back ''Ashes series''. 10 in number in 6 months! Wao! India-Pak clashes were never boring and one sided. Yet, English and Aussies call Ashes the most exciting and luxury series in the world!3-0 followed by 5-0 scoreline. No competition whatsoever. I have become sick of Ashes. I dont wanna see any of this series in next 3 years.

  • on January 5, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    Curious why the author left out the besting England took in 2012 vs Pakistan

  • rickyvoncanterbury on January 5, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    2 Helmets check, protector check, chest guard check, gloves check, pads check, I think I am well prepared.. Hang on where is my heart and ability.

  • BiSymonds on January 5, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Aussies would love Cook to continue.

  • BradmanBestEver on January 5, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Get rid of Gooch - they need a major overhaul.

    Gooch has as much clue about how to solve England's problems as he did facing Terry Alderman in 1989

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • BradmanBestEver on January 5, 2014, 10:44 GMT

    Get rid of Gooch - they need a major overhaul.

    Gooch has as much clue about how to solve England's problems as he did facing Terry Alderman in 1989

  • BiSymonds on January 5, 2014, 10:51 GMT

    Aussies would love Cook to continue.

  • rickyvoncanterbury on January 5, 2014, 10:58 GMT

    2 Helmets check, protector check, chest guard check, gloves check, pads check, I think I am well prepared.. Hang on where is my heart and ability.

  • on January 5, 2014, 11:06 GMT

    Curious why the author left out the besting England took in 2012 vs Pakistan

  • mainul079080 on January 5, 2014, 11:14 GMT

    I think ICC should take measures in future about this kind of boring one sided back to back ''Ashes series''. 10 in number in 6 months! Wao! India-Pak clashes were never boring and one sided. Yet, English and Aussies call Ashes the most exciting and luxury series in the world!3-0 followed by 5-0 scoreline. No competition whatsoever. I have become sick of Ashes. I dont wanna see any of this series in next 3 years.

  • BCCIRoxx on January 5, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Very disheartening performance by the English cricketers. By watching them in this series, seems like there start another "18 years" wait for them. They seem to be heading to similar thrashings in chase of "The Urn" for next decade's Ashes. There seems, only a "Freddie" will eventually bail them off! Australia now have improved a lot after all those hopeless years; post '07... If this English downward trend continues, then I think all the Aussie enthusiasm of playing, watching quality and competitive cricket will get limited to "THE GAVASKAR-BORDER" Trophy....

  • ashes_galore on January 5, 2014, 11:15 GMT

    Get rid of the ECB management. They are terrible at managing and selecting the players who can do the job.

  • whensdrinks on January 5, 2014, 11:24 GMT

    Pride cometh before the fall and it was a big fall

  • electric_loco_WAP4 on January 5, 2014, 11:26 GMT

    The excuse of 'missing players'- non selection is just that.Is akin to rearrang. deck on Titanic.For the recd. Compton hasn't 1 real big score -couple of middling score of 80s/90s n/w-in weak county sys. in recent games.What chance v worlds best attack?

  • class9ryan on January 5, 2014, 11:27 GMT

    All of sudden England looks weaker even than India and Pakistan, I think re-investing Compton should not be a bad decision. Cook, Compton, Bell, Pietersen, Root, Stokes, Buttler/Davies, Bresnan, Anderson, Broad, Panesar/Tedwell not a bad team for a year or so.